Topic outline

  • General

    Can You Afford to Buy a House

    Creative Commons License

    Buying a House by Steve Durant and Wyandotte Public Schools is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

    Deciding whether you can afford to purchase a house can be complex. The decision relies on how much you can afford to pay each month and it involves more than just a house payment. Interest rate, house insurance, taxes and expenses all contribute to how much you are actually paying for a house. Below are a set of exercises that will help you make good economic decisions when deciding whether you can afford to purchase a house.  Click here for a Word File of the Buying a House lesson. You may want to print the Word File and use it as a worksheet.

  • Topic 1

    Finding a Job

    Using the internet or local newspaper find three to five ads for employment based on your educational/work background. Be sure to print or cut out your ads. Using what you have learned in this course calculate the monthly gross income.

    1. What is your job?

    2. What is your monthly gross income?

    Note your response in the Finding a Job Wiki below.

  • Topic 2

    Building a Budget

    The second step of this project is to find a house you can afford. Remember no more than 35% of your total gross monthly income should be used for monthly housing expenses. It is also suggested that no more than 50% of your monthly housing expenses should be used for the mortgage. Calculate your total monthly budget for housing and what should be allocated for the mortgage.

    1. What is your budget for monthly housing expenses?

    2. What is the targeted monthly payment for a mortgage? (Be sure to show calculations)

    Note your response in the Building a Budget Wiki below.
  • Topic 3

    The Dream House

    For the third step, go to and search for homes in the area. You are looking for a home that fits your profile and budget. The real estate listing will not tell you your monthly payment. So for now you look for something you estimate is in your price range. Find three to five homes that suit your needs and style. Be sure to print out listings. The listings have the tax information.

  • Topic 4

    The fourth step will be to get an insurance quote for your home. Go to and fill out the appropriate information. If you do not feel comfortable call an insurance office to get a quote. Your replacement value will be the actual amount of your mortgage. You are looking at insuring your home for 80% replacement value. You want a 5% deductible.

    1. What is the amount of coverage?
    2. What are your property, loss of use, and other building coverage?
    3. How much are you paying in annual insurance premiums? (Be sure to print out the quote)
    Note your answers in the Getting Insured Wiki below.
  • Topic 5

    But can I afford it?

    The next step will be looking at calculating your monthly housing expenses. Look at your real estate listing and find the total amount for taxes. We will also assume your estimated utilities are $200/month per 1000 square feet. You also have a sprint cell phone with a $69.99 simply everything plans. You pay $260 per year in water. The cable/internet bill is $99.95 per month.


    • What are your monthly housing expenses?
    • Does this fit within the maximum of 35% of monthly gross income rule?
    If not, you are living outside your means and you need to go back to and find a similar square foot home for rent. Be sure to print this listing out as well. Renting could be significantly cheaper, you are no longer paying for water, taxes, or insurance. Find a home and recalculate your monthly living expenses if you rented.

    We will still assume your estimated utilities are $200/month per 1000 square feet. You also have a sprint cell phone with a $69.99 simply everything plans. The cable/internet bill is $99.95 per month.



    3. What are your new monthly housing expenses?
    4. Are you now within the 35% budget?
    5. If not what are some ways you can make living with in this budget?

    Click on the But Can I Afford It Worksheet link below and download and complete the worksheet. Upload the completed worksheet.

    • Topic 6

      Let's Reflect

      Choosing to buy or rent a home depends on many factors.
      • What do you think these factors are?
      • What type of housing would most likely attracts your personal profile card?
      • The interest paid on your home mortgage is huge! What are some ways you could eliminate paying so much interest?
      Write a paragraph explaining your opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of buying and renting. Please write a paragraph for each (buying and renting)

      Clink on the Lets Reflect Link below to complete the assignment.
      • Topic 7

        This is the Practice Topic

        The purpose of this topic is to review with the students the three ways assignments are to be completed.